What do you do if the culture you grew up in isn’t your own – or even your parents’? You adapt, dammit, and become what’s known as a Third Culture Kid, or TCK, if you’re cool.
Ed interviews his recently graduated student Mook Ishimura, a half-Thai, half-Japanese ‘third culture kid,’ who is a Thai citizen but who grew up mostly in the United States and Indonesia before moving to Thailand for university. They discuss the rather unusual situation of feeling LESS comfortable in your ‘passport country’ than in another culture – in Mook’s case, American culture. Mook recounts the difficulty of studying in a western classroom her whole life, only to begin university in an international program in Thailand, mostly with Thai students coming out of the Thai school system.
In an increasingly cosmopolitan city like Bangkok, Mook demonstrates that not everyone fits neatly into the ‘native’ box or the ‘expat’ box. We think this is a great asset to any city or country – after all, variety is the spice of life, and TCKs are nothing if not varied. And spicy.
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